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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

WILLIAM  VCCT  HUMBOU3T.                   261
into the excitement of the city. Their stay has "been
accurately detailed by Carape in his works, and we
shall therefore merely mention the principal incidents.
They spent their days in seeing what was remarkable
in Paris, mixed with the people, and listened to the
speeches and debates held in the public streets, re-
turning to their dwelling late at night, tired and ex-
hausted. On the 12th August they proceeded to
Versailles, and succeeded in obtaining a place in the
crowded galleries of the National Assembly, through
the intervention of the great Mirabeau, at whose
special invitation Canape had gone to Paris* The
uproar was so tremendous that it was some time be-
fore they could hear the speeches; when the session
was over they spent the remainder of the day in see-
ing the splendours of Versailles.
Provided with an introduction to the officer of the
National Guard on duty, they were shown to a good
place again on the following day. Towards noon the
Assembly were to present an address to the king, and
our travellers succeeded in joining the procession of
deputies, and thus being present at all the ceremonies.
In the everting they returned to Paris by way of
Marly. A few days later they went on a pilgrimage
to Rousseau^s grave. They saw his room., in which
the furniture was still arranged as when he lived, but
found his grave and his favourite resting places very
much neglected.                   *
It cannot be doubted that Humboldt made many
new acquaintances among the literary men of the day
.even during this excited time, and we see from Ms
letters that " the honest Mercier," Herr von Meister
and Berguin, the author of several books for children,
received them with especial attention. Of other learned
men whom he met with, he names the great astronomer
Lalande, the academician Marmontel, and the philolo-
gian Yilloison, the best French archeologist, with the
exception perhaps of Barthelemy. But tike period
appointed for their visit to Paris had now elapsed3 and
they quitted it reluctantly on. the * 2*7ih August, xe-